Imitating Rogues

October 31, 2010
School for Scoundrels (1960 film)

Forthcoming Market Research Training Course? Image via Wikipedia

Over the years, I’ve often given mid-level researchers one or other version of a workshop I call “How to Advance Your Research Career – and still have time for a Social Life”. As you might guess, the title touches a nerve – it’s one that never fails to attract interest! Its genesis is a frustration that both David and I share: that far too many researchers do far too much work on things of far too little value. It’s something that we believe is not as inevitable or hard to change as we often imagine, but it’s also a topic that cannot be summarized in one blog post. Instead I want to touch on one small part of my talk: a consideration of  successful senior market researchers I’ve known who’ve “made it” without 80 hour weeks or working themselves into an early grave. Yes, they are a minority in our industry, but they do exist and they have some lessons for the rest of us.

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NEWS: Alastair Gordon MRA Webinar: Re-valuing Ourselves

October 26, 2010

NEWS: Tomorrow (Oct 27th US) I’ll be conducing a Webinar for the (US) MRA on the topic of:

Re-Valuing Ourselves: Why it’s Urgent to Tackle the “Soft Stuff” in the Research Process

Details are below if you are interested (It will be download-able later from the MRA website, for a small fee which goes to the MRA). Also a “normal” blog post (long overdue) will come out in the next couple of days!

Overview of Webinar:

It is often claimed by market researchers that users of research simply don’t appreciate the value of what we provide. Sometimes we feel under-appreciated and, possibly worse, underpaid!  This Webinar presents the view that we’ll never get users to value us, until we start re-valuing ourselves, and we can only do this by putting more effort into examining what exactly it is that we do that creates value for clients.

The Webinar examines why recent industry efforts to drive staff cost-savings, operational reforms, and push short-term sales may be reaching the limits of their effectiveness.  Instead, it is argued, we have to tackle some of the “soft and mushy” aspects of how we work personally and as organizations, and what we deliver to our (internal and external) clients. The interactions between various “soft skill” aspects of the research process (between taking a brief and delivering a presentation for instance) represent both our greatest costs and bottlenecks, and yet also our best hope for improving research ROI and enhancing our personal career satisfaction.

A framework for thinking about how to tackle and some of these “hard but important” challenges is discussed. The emphasis is on practical ideas for thinking about how these issues impact researchers and their organizations, hopefully providing some ideas for “next steps” towards improvements.

Date: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 (USA)

Time: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EDT